Monday, June 29, 2009

Brook Trout for Dinner

Brown trout caught and captured by David French.

Brook Trout image courtesy of the Ohio DNR.

The other night we had a brace of trout (one brown and one very pretty brookie) that my father caught that morning. It was so exquisite that I thought I'd share the recipe/menue with you all.

Grilled Brown Trout with New Potatoes and Braised Baby Artichokes

Figure on one 10"-14" trout and 3 baby artichokes per person.

For the Trout:
two sprigs fresh tarragon per trout
2 Tbs rendered bacon fat
salt and pepper
Kitchen twine

For the Potatoes
3-4 medium new potatoes p.p. peeled and halved
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

For the Artichokes
3 Baby Artichokes (p.p.)
2 tsp salted capers, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, sliced
1-2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste.

This dish is all about brining out the rustic goodness of the ingredients. It seems simple, but pay attention and you'll be suprised by the depth of flavor. Real fire is better than gas and real wood is better than briquettes.

Start your fire, and when the coals are hot, arrange them on one side of the grill. While the fire is getting ready, blanch the potatoes for 4 minutes, then drain, and add oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. When the grate is hot, add the potatoes, flat side down, directly over the coals (if the fire isn't too hot for you). When they start to brown, turn and move them off the main fire, and cover (vents open). Cook for 10 minutes while you prep the trout and artichokes.

Cut the tops off the baby artichokes and any brown part of the stem. Pluck off the outer petals until you get to very pale leaves. You want them to be quite tender as you eat the entire thing. Keep them in acidulated water to keep them from turning brown until you're ready to cook, then dry them briefly.

Rinse and dry the trout. Salt and pepper inside and out. Brush the interior of the trout with bacon fat, then stuff the tarragon inside. Tie with 2 lengths of cotton twine. This makes them easier to manage. Brush with a modest amount of bacon fat. Pre-heat your oven to 200'. Check on your potatoes.

If the potatoes aren't golden brown, move them back over the fire for a few moments. When done, place them on foil or a plate and keep them warm in the oven. Bring the trout out and place on the fire. If the fire isn't too hot, you can grill directly over the fire, turning after 4 minutes and basting with bacon fat. Cook another 4 minutes, turn, baste again, cook 2 minutes turn again. When the skin is brown and crisp, you're done. If the fire is terribly hot, you'll want to cook them indirectly for 6 minutes, then baste and turn and cook for another 4 minutes, baste and turn and finish over the flame if needed. (cooks note: if you don't have bacon fat, you can substitute butter and it will still be quite good) Pre-heat your plates.

While the trout are cooking, heat olive oil in a pan with a lid. Saute' garlic for a moment, then add capers and saute' until the garlic is lightly brown. Add the artichokes, toss, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute. Add stock and cover. Lower heat to low. Right before the trout come off the grill, take the lid off, raise the heat, and cook off any excess liquid. Add a squeeze of lemon and plate with the potatoes and trout. Cut the twine off the trout.

Serve with a dry pinot grigio or perhaps a sauvignon blanc.

If you came here from Julia's Blog Party, here's your link back to Hooked on Houses.

1 comment:

Cass @ That Old House said...

Gorgeous fish! I haven't had trout in years; my husband used to catch them at the lake down the street from his childhood home, and loves trout.

Have a Happy 4th of July!